Top 8 Fish That Can Live Without Oxygen In The Aquarium

The microclimate for aquarium inhabitants should coincide as much as possible with their needs.

The content of trace elements should correspond to the recommended level of consumption of a particular type of plants, fish or other living organisms, including bacteria.

One of the necessary substances in the aquarium environment is oxygen. But there are fish that live comfortably without oxygen and additional aeration in the aquarium.

Individuals that do not need O2

All fish absorb oxygen. The difference in the mechanism of absorption. One needs well-aerated water for this, others need access to oxygen on the surface.

It should be borne in mind that the lack of aeration and filtration leads to an increase in the number of such manipulations as siphon cleaning, water changes, testing.

With the help of tests you can find out the content of useful and harmful substances in the reservoir, for example, harmful to fish nitrogen.

In the natural environment, inhabitants of standing bodies of water, mainly of the subtropical belt, use skin breathing.. The rate of oxygen consumption through the skin of such fish reaches 80%, the standard figure is up to 20%.

Some fish can live and feel comfortable without aeration, but with good filtration.


Perciform fish with labyrinth organ. It is due to the structure of this apparatus that gourays extract air and provide themselves with oxygen.

A prerequisite in an aquarium is unhindered access to atmospheric air. In their natural environment, gourays were found in gutters, small, “stagnant” bodies of water, where there is water with a low level of oxygen.

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Gourami and other labyrinth fish need access to atmospheric air, and during transportation, oxygen pumped into the bag can destroy the fish, since it burns the respiratory organs of such a (labyrinth) structure.

Top 8 Fish That Can Live Without Oxygen In The Aquarium


Another representative of aquatic inhabitants who do not need additional aeration. This is a small, bright fish, with a labyrinth breathing apparatus, belonging to the family of macropods..

The aquarium cover will prevent jumping of inhabitants from an aquarium. And if lighting is built into the lid, the plants will actively grow and, consequently, create an additional diet for the fish and a favorable microenvironment.

Top 8 Fish That Can Live Without Oxygen In The Aquarium

Betta fish

The most popular representative of the labyrinth. Betta splendens absorbs atmospheric air, rising from time to time to the surface, captures a bubble of air from which it extracts oxygen.

Under good conditions, these fish live up to 3-4 years. The care is not demanding, but cleanliness must be maintained. For one fish enough 3 liters. water.

Water changes should be carried out as in the case of other types of fish:

  • at least 1 time per week, in a capacity of 10 to 20 liters.,
  • if the aquarium is up to 5 l., then it is necessary to add fresh water 2 times a week.

Top 8 Fish That Can Live Without Oxygen In The Aquarium


This representative of the labyrinth is often mistakenly referred to as gourami, calling them honey. But still this fish is called labiosa of the genus Trichogaster (until 2017, the genus Colisa).

The similarity with gourami is very strong, both externally and in detention. But they usually grow larger, up to 9 cm.

An aquarium that contains a labiosa must be equipped with a “covering”, that is, to close the top in order to avoid jumping out of the “house”.

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It is believed that the lid is needed to preserve the microclimate above the water so that the fish in the process of oxygen absorption is not cold.

Top 8 Fish That Can Live Without Oxygen In The Aquarium


Paradise fish with an additional respiratory organ. a labyrinth. Females love to hide in a shelter. Snags, dense thickets, will contribute to comfortable living.

The aquarium should be covered with a lid, these fish love to jump high, especially when they hunt. They are not demanding to the temperature and feel equally comfortable both in 16 ° С and in 25 ° С.

Top 8 Fish That Can Live Without Oxygen In The Aquarium


Fish-loach, looks like a mini-snake or a large yellow worm with black stripes. Family. carp. The preferred temperature is about 25 ° C.

As the enrichment of oxygen uses atmospheric air, which passes through the intestines. In addition, acantophthalmos can absorb oxygen through the skin. For the implementation of the skin respiration of this fish, there must be oxygen in the water.

But also just a filter, the discharge of water which is directed to the surface. Thanks to this filtering mechanism, water will be enriched with oxygen.

Top 8 Fish That Can Live Without Oxygen In The Aquarium

Shipovka ordinary

Сobitis taeni. distributed throughout Europe. The name was due to the characteristic spike in the gills.

Before the weather changes, the fish starts to worry, swims actively, and more often captures air from the surface.. In a quiet state, the fish also breathes atmospheric air, but rises to the surface not so often.

The air is concentrated in the middle section of the intestine, and passing to the back section, enriches the blood with oxygen, through the small capillaries in the intestine.

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These indicators are relative and depend on habitat conditions.. Accordingly, if the water in the aquarium is poor in oxygen, the weed loaches extract it from the atmosphere.

There is an assumption, on the basis of which, the family of loaches that have intestinal respiration, burrow in order not to rise to the surface of the water. And their swallowed air bubble in the intestine lifts up, and drifting bindlings float to the surface.

Top 8 Fish That Can Live Without Oxygen In The Aquarium


Popular fish for aquarium lovers. There is an opinion that somics do not need air, but this is not so.

There are species that absorb oxygen from the atmosphere, there are catfish that do not need high oxygen enrichment. For example, speckled catfish have intestinal respiration, extracting oxygen from atmospheric air.

Catfish live in the lower layers of water. Constantly plying on the bottom and turning the ground, raise the dregs from the bottom. A pump-filter in an aquarium with catfish will provide not only filtration, but also enrichment of water with oxygen.

Top 8 Fish That Can Live Without Oxygen In The Aquarium


Fish that do not need an aerator, most require access to atmospheric air. So that the fish do not jump out, it is good to close the aquarium lid. There should be at least 5 cm between the cover and the surface of the water.

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